I've not played in many tournaments but at the ones that I have played in the one thing that I hear is people sandbagging in order to assure they have a fighting chance to win something against the newbie am's that are just starting out.
I'm starting to think that this is all that the older experienced players care about anymore. How much do I win and how many new faces are in the crowd so I can play back a skill level and maybe place in the top 2-4 depending on what the payout or prizes are.
The PDGA has their ranking system but is that really an accurate route to go if your not a PDGA member? How does that ranking transfer over to an unevaluated course? How accurate are the records of all these online places that have course directories? How accurate is the information you gather about a course, the distances actually within a 10' shot or was the tee moved and nothing updated on these sites?
There has to be some way to rank courses and have them all done within 3 years. Then whatever way you come up with to get a handicap based on a common rating for a course would level the field tons. Each Course could then have its rating posted with instructions on how to obtain your skill rating even if you have never played a round in your life or at a new course the first time.
OOPS I'm sorry I must be in never never land. Every time I start to mention having a handicap league to older players they all have this same ole heavy sigh of "oh god not another one". The ones that are interested in having a handincapping system for everyone both recreational and in competition are doing their best to adapt. To me the ones that give the big sigh are the ones that feel the wallet being pinched because they can't hide how good they really are in a handicapping system. You sandbag on this course and sale on another it will affect your rating both ways. The more scores for a course you enter the more accurate your rating for that course will be, provided the course data is accurate for the rating system to work properly.
In Ball Golf they have a handicapping system and it has been known for centuries as the gentlemens game. Why wouldn't they have a handicapping system? Disc Golf has a handicapping system through Disc Golf United but I have noticed that the course information is inaccurate on lots of courses. They had Freedlander Park as being 9 holes and it now has 18.
If you truely want to level the field and have more fun playing than worring about how much and what you will win then join Disc Golf United and help them get the course information for courses your are familiar with as accurate as possible. The hardest part is remembering to record your score and then enter it in on the website.
If all you care about is how much $$ you will win or what kind of discs will you win then don't bother with the above. You are the ones that I am looking to NOT cater to.
I want to play with those that want to have a good time first, score second and prizes last if at all. On a more level playing field might it may up the anti a bit on how well you play when you know your win isn't assured because your playing agianst less experienced players and the handicaps come into play, you chicken out. How can you claim a victory when your competition has no clue that you sandbagged them? That would be like me taking someone fresh off the street that never threw a disc before and betting them $5 on the game knowing that I will have them smoked within the first 3 holes. If I have a handicap and the course has a rating then a handicap can be derived for the new person and then the round would be a fair fight.
Leveling the playing field by having a common handicapping system will bring the term Gentlemen's Game to DG and put some honesty into the tournaments wether sanctioned or not. It will bring honesty to the recreation side as well because each round counts.